City Seeking Public Opinion In Spending First Round Of Sandy Aid Package Money

Photo By Erica Sherman

People have been waiting a long time to see the the $60 billion promised by Congress last January. The first round of money dispersal is finally coming in the form of a $1.77 billion Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery fund (CDBG-DR) and the city wants the public’s opinion on the best way to dole it out, according to a city press release.

A report by YNN asked Staten Islanders stricken with Sandy woes for their opinions and most agreed that the first people that should be helped are the ones who got hit the worst.

“I want to see that aid get actually to the families that need it,” Tom Seery, whose home was damaged, told YNN.

Other residents wanted to see the money go to help people revamp and raise their homes to meet the new expanded flood zone regulations that will cause insurance premiums to skyrocket.

[Rudy Mienert’s] home is only about four feet above sea level, well below the new Federal Emergency Management Agency guidelines, which require homes in the newly expanded flood zone to be built to 13 feet.
That means Mienert will be forced to pay steep premiums for flood insurance. So, he said that the money should go to help people like him, who can’t afford to raise their homes or pay more for insurance.
“Who’s going to fund it?” Mienert said. “Basically, all these houses, you can’t afford that, that kind of insurance or that kind of structure, revamping. You have to raise your house.”The deadline to submit comments to the city is 11:59 p.m. April 4. Once received, the comments will be incorporated into the final Action Plan A that will be submitted to the federal government.

You can submit comments on the city’s plan to disperse the first round of federal funding by clicking here.Here at Sheepshead Bites, we were wondering where our readers think the first $1.77 billion should go. If you plan on submitting comments to the city, please post them here so we can all see if there is a consensus. Thanks!

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